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The friendly computer 



CjL commodore 



The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has established rules 
which govern data modem direct connection to the telephone network. A 
jack is provided by the telephone company for the direct connection. 
Jacks of the modular type required for the connection are not provided on 
party lines or coin linea 

If it is suspected that the data modem is malfunctioning, it may be causing 
effects on the telephone lines outside the permissable operating specifi- 
cation of FCC 68. In this case, the modem should be disconnected until 
the source of the difficulty is determined 

This equipment generates and uses radio frequency energy and if not 
installed in strict accordance with the installation and operating instruc- 
tions may cause interference to radio and television reception. The 
modem has been type tested and found to comply with the limits for a 
Class B computing device in accordance with the specifications of 
Subpart J of Part 15 of FCC Rules, which are designed to provide 
reasonable protection against such interference in a residential installa- 
tion. However, there Is no guarantee that interference will not occur in a 
particular installation. If this modem does cause interference to radio or 
television reception, which can be determined by disconnecting the 
modem, the user Is encouraged to try to correct the interference by 
changing the position of the VIC with respect to the television or radio. 

Copyright • 1 962 by Commodore Buamess Machines. Inc. All rtQhts reserved Nopart of this manual 
may copied, pholocopled. published or otherwise reproduced without written permission irom 
Commodore VIC 20. VICTERM I and VlCMODEM are trademark* ol Commodore Business 
Machines. Inc. Tne Commodore productnumber for VlCMOOEMts 1600. The Commodore product 
number (or VICTERM I Is VT 232. 


Commodore wants everyone to join the "Computer Revolution"— 
that* s why we invent products which are not only revolutionary but 
also affordable. The VICMODEM"" is only an example. 

When Commodore introduced VIC 20™ — the Friendly Computer, 
the first color computer priced under $300, we wanted to include 
a telephone modem to go with it, but we wanted our modem to be 
in the $100 range, so everyone could afford telecomputing. 

Unfortunately none of the major modem manufacturers we 
contacted would, or could, make a modem we could sell at this 
price. Finally we located a small creative design group and 
presented them with our concept and design specifications. The 
group started working with us and a few months later delivered 
the modem we asked for. It took a total of 6 months from concept 
to production and. in March 1982 the first VICMODEMs were 
delivered for sale. 

The result is a low priced modem cartridge which plugs into the 
VIC 20 and connects directly to your telephone. The VIC 20 and 
the VICMODEM together retail for less than $410 . . . and that 
price is lower then the price of many modems! 

We at Commodore are committed to leading the Personal Com- 
puter Revolution with new products that bring you the most 
advanced technology available, at prices you can afford. 


What is "Electronic Communications"? Very simply, it's the ability 
to send and receive information over phone lines using your 
computer. The VICMODEM "translates" electronic signals to and 
from your computer so those signals can be sent over the 
telephone. Your VICMODEM lets you communicate and exchange 

data with almost any type or size computer. You can use your VIC 
to "talk" over the phone with other VIC users or users of other 
computers, tie into computer "telephone bulletin boards," or 
access a computer information service. 


Science fiction writers used to speculate that one day we'd be 
able to use "electronic libraries" in our home or office - the 
technology has been here for several years - but it took the low- 
priced VIC-20 and VICMODEM to make this service affordable .. . 
and turn science fiction into reality. 

Your Commodore computer gives you tomorrow's world of elec- 
tronic communications . . . today. By allowing you to connect your 
computer to a telephone, your VICMODEM puts you in touch with 
incredible information services like "CompuServe", "The Source", 
"Dow Jones", and other computer networks. 


As a VICMODEM owner, you're entitled to ONE FREE HOUR of 
access time on the CompuServe Information Service . . . PLUS . . . 
Commodore gives you a FREE SUBSCRIPTION to CompuServe, 
which includes Commodore's own special information network 
for Commodore computer users. 

Here are just a few of the services available through CompuServe 
(and the "Commodore Information Network"): 

• educational programs • commodities prices 
+ sports scores + newswire stories 

• encyclopedia + financial reports 

• computer games * wordprocessing 

• spelling aids * stock quotes 

• home budgeting • airline schedules 

• electronic mail * research data 

• Commodore Product News • Commodore Technical Data 

With your new modem, YOU can access information resources 
that up to now only the largest libraries and businesses could 
afford. If you're a programmer, you can use different computer 
languages and programming tools. Add to this the many persona! 
services available and you've stepped into the next era of 
technology . . . the Computer Information Age. 


Please read this entire manual before you turn on your computer. 
Here is a step-by-step explanation of how to connect and use the 


1. Make sure your computer is turned OFF. (When ever inserting 
or removing any cartridge it is best to-rmve, the unit off. 

2. Insert the VIC MODEM intojHfe User Port (see figure 1). 

3. Turn your computer on. 

f I commodore 


Expansion Port 

User Port 

Figure 1. 

3. Dial the correct phone number, listen for a high pitched tone, 
then remove the plug from the handset, (see figure 3) 

4. On the side of the VICMODEM there is a red indicator light 
(see figure 2) This light will illuminate when the modem is 
transmitting and receiving information via the telephone. 

Indicator Light 


Phone Socket 

Figure 2 

5. Load your terminal software (you will need to use a "terminal 
program" to allow your VIC to "talk" over the telephone). You 
can use any of the following programs. 

a VICTERM I • this is a cassette program included with your 
VICMODEM. Requires use of the DATASSETTE to load into 
thexomputer. See instructions later in this manual. 

d. VltTERM-4CTCartridge - A special Terminal cartridge avail- 
able summer 1 982. 

c. VIC-terminal program. - see page 7. 

6. In order for VICTERM I to function properly you must not have 
any cartridges in the Expansion Port (see figure 1 ). Be sure to 
turn the computer off before inserting or removing any car- 
tridges. If you are not using VICTERM I be sure to follow the 
instructions as given in the manual provided with the software. 


1 . You must have a modular telephone in which the plug may 
be disconnected from the handset, (see figure 3) If your 
handset does not have an RJ1 1 C plug (a four pin plug) you may 
have to purchase a VICMODEM Non Modular Telephone 

2. Set the originate/answer switch on the side of the modem to 
the correct position. Yo u should push it to the "O" p osition 
(originate mode), when yo u~are using vour compuier to 'taiK '' to 
mos t Information providers.,. It will be in this position to 
connect to the Commodore Information Network. It is set 
"A" (answer mode), when you are receiving a call originated by 
another computer; example, you plan to communicate directly 
by phone with a friend; he will start his VICMODEM in "originate 
mode" and you will set yours to "answer mode". 

4. Insert the plug into the-phone socket in the back of the 
VICMODEM. (see figure 2) Now^ypur computer is ready to 
operate as a terminal. At this point yournust follow the 
instructions given to you with yourCompuServe subscription, 
or, if using another service, in thekJnstructlons.^WOTE;T)nce 
you have removed the handset, put it oh the side, DO NOT put it 
on the phone cradle!) 

Do Not Hang 
Up The Headset 

Figure 3. 


Included FREE in this package is VICTERM I, which is loaded into 
your computer via the Commodore DATASSETTE. By loading this 
software and following the instructions provided in the manual 
your computer will be able to operate over the telephone. 

Also available is VICTERM-40, a cartridge which plugs into the 
VIC 20 User Port. This software package not only turns your VIC 
into a terminal, it gives you a 40 or 22 column display and allows 
you to save the valuable information you receive, on your 
Commodore printer or the Commodore disk. 

The following computer program is for use with the VIC 20. This is 
a third method of turning your VIC into a terminal. You may type 
this into the computer and then start It by typing "run", those of 
you learning to program may find some of the routines interesting! 
For your convenience, we have provided an explanation of the 

Terminal Software for the VIC 

100 OPEN 5,2,3,CHR$(6) 

110 DIM F%(255), T%(255) 

200 FOR J=32 TO 64: T%(J) =J: NEXT 

210 T%(13)=13: T%<20)=8: RV=18: CT=0 

220 FOR J=65 TO 90: K=J+32: T%(J)=K: NEXT 

230 FOR J=91 TO 95: T%(J)=J: NEXT 

240 FOR J=193 TO 218: K=J-128: T%(J)=K: NEXT 

250 T%(146)=16:T%(133)=16 

260 FOR J=0 TO 255 

270 K=T%(J) 

280 IF K< >0 THEN F%(K)=J: F%(K+1 28)=J 

^rtw nr^iki-*-.! >.**• ■»«.<* .-.. NOTE: Insert a space between 

300 PRINT" "CHR$(147) the quotes in program ,ines 

31 GET#5,A$ 300. 330 and 360. Do not put a 

320 IF A$=" " OR ST < >0 THEN 360 «> flc « ln tne auotes m ,ine 3H 

330 PRINT" "CHR$(157);CHR$(F%{ASC(A$))); 

340 IF F%(ASC(A$))=34 THEN POKE 21 2,0 

350 GOTO 310 

360 PRINT CHR$(RV)" "CHR$(157); CHR$<146);: GET A$ 

370 IF A$< >" " THEN PRINT#5,CHR$(T%(ASC(A$))); 

380 CT=CT+1 

390 IF CT=8 THEN CT=0: RV=164-RV 

400 IF(PEEK(37151) AND 64)= 1 THEN 400 

410 GOTO 31 

TIP. Once you have typed the above program into 

your computer, save it on your tape or disk for 

future reference or use. 

Software Explanation 
Line Numbers) Explanation 

100 Opens channel to modem 

1 10 Dimensions input and output buffers 

200 Places special characters into transmitting array 

210 Enters carriage return, disables Shift into the 

array and defines the reverse key 

220 Enters lower case characters into the array 

230 Enters special characters into the array 

240 Enters upper case characters into the array 

250 Defines the RVS/OFF and f 1 keys as break keys 

260 thru 290 Defines the receiving array (F%) to be identical to 

the sending array (T%) 

300 Clears the screen 

310 thru 330 Reads from the modem and prints that character 

on the screen 

340 Resets the quote mode 

360 thru 390 Places a cursor on the screen for ease of reading 

and writing 

400 Checks modem before sending characters 

You can add the following line to your program to give the 
standard start and stop commands. 

255 T%(1 37)=03: T%(1 34)=1 7: T%(1 38)=1 9 

T%(1 37) turns the f2 key into a control C 
T%(134) turns the F3 kev into a control Q 
T%(138) turns the f4 key into a control S 



The following is a brief explanation of a few of the words used in 
this manual. 

1 . Answer/Originate — This function refers to the switch on the 
side of the VICMODEM and allows your computer to initiate 
communications or receive data when another VIC or other 
computer connects to you. Youwl ll use orig inate mo de 
when signing onto the Commodore Information Network. 

2. BPS (Baud Rate) — This is the speed in which data is 
transmitted over a communications line. Your VICMODEM 
operates in the range to 300 BPS (0 - 300 Baud). 

3. Full Duplex — A full duplex mode is one in which two-way 
communications is accomplished by using two communications 
lines, one going in each direction. 

4. Information Utilities — Providers of information services like 
"The Source" and "CompuServe". Information can be obtained 
(for an hourly connect fee) from the providers through your 
computer. The information you can obtain ranges from games, 
consumer information to an electronic encyclopedia, stock 
quotes and news reports. 

5. Modem — A modem is your key to accessing the world of 
telecomputing. It is a data transmission device that converts 

computer "talk" into a form that can be carried over the phone 


6. X/ON and X/OFF — These commands allow you to stop and 
start the flow of the data transmission on your screen. C ontrol Q 

and COntro ^S_a re *hf» t raditional. r.ommanf te f o r X /QN-and 



VICMODEM is a data communications modem. The VICMODEM 
is compatjbjeotfith'the Bell 1 03 type modems. It isa direct connect 
modem./can/operate in full duplex, has a switch selectable 
originate HTra answer mode and has a data rate of to 300 BPS. 
(The baud rate may be changed thru VICTERM I). 

Troubles?! Be sure your modem is firmly installed in the proper 
slot. If you still encounter telephone problems disconnect the 
VICMODEM. Check to see if you still have those problems. If not, 
the modem may have been the cause. Do not use it until it has 
been repaired, (examine your warranty) The telephone company 
is not responsible for difficulties caused by this equipment. 


Since the VICMODEM utilizes phone lines, the telephone com- 
pany will need the following information before it is connected to 
the phone lines: 

• The telephone number, in your home, to which the modem is 
to be connected. 

• The FCC registration number B4V8N2-68331-KX-N 

• The ringer equivalence: O.OB 


Data Format: Serial, Binary, Asynchronous 

Operate Mode: Manual Dial, Manual Answer/Originate select, 

Full Duplex 
Data Rate: 0-300 BPS 
Modulation: Frequency Shift Keyed 


Line Interface: FCC part 68, Direct Connect 
Data Interface: TTL Standard 

Indicator Data Carrier Detect J_amp 

Power Requirement: 9-1 1 Vac, 60 Hz, 180 mW 




The VICTERM I software gives your computer the ability to act as 
a "terminal". When you connect your microcomputer to a modem 
and a telephone you become an active participant in the Infor- 
mation Age. To ease your entry into this era Commodore has 
designed VICTERM I so that you can enjoy your new VICMODEM 

within a matter of minutes. We have made every effort to make this 
manual and software as uncomplicated as possible. It's what we 
call "user friendly". The capabilities of VICTERM I can be best 
understood if you read the entire manual before attempting to use 
this software. 


VICTERM I, has many impressive features. They include: 

*"User Friendly" — menu operation where you can "order" 
such delectables as baud rate, parity, and stop bits to match 
almost any system! More about these terms later. 

*Format end of line — use to stop wraparound. Wrap- 
around occurs when a word is too large to fit at the end of a 
line, and the remainder of the word is continued on the next 
line. Even a little wraparound makes the text difficult to read. 
Therefore we designed the "Format end of line" to eliminate 
wraparound and create easier to read text! 

*2 color option — aids in reading the computer dialogue by 
making your text a different color than the host computer's text 
This makes the dialogue easier to read. 


*Actlvated control — keys to send operating instructions to 
the host computer such as stop, hold, and begin transmitting. 

*100% machine language program — give you very fast 
and accurate program operation. 


A menu is a listing of all the options available to the user, in the 
same manner a restaurant menu is ajisiina of the entrees 
available. When VICTERM I indicates>j€Rffi>N>L READY" you 
can call up a menu at any time by typing F4 (Torero this, hold down 
the SHIFT key and press f3).VICTERr«LUe»dslhe other computer 
a special character (control S for the technically minded) that tells 
it to stop sending so you won't lose any data while reading the 

There are 2 different menus, the Communications Formate Menu, 
and the VIC Control Menu. You can switch from one mentrtothe 
other by typing the N key. When finished with the mefuj.tvoetheJP 
key to get b ack into termin ajjnojiajrie VIC sends trie-character 
(corrtrotOTtrTat tens tne computer to'resume sending information 
to you. 


1 . Baud Rate — This controls the speed of communications in bits 
per second. The VICMODEM operates in the range to 300 
baud. If you get nothing but strange characters on the screen, 
check the baud rate. 

To set the baud rate press the B key, then use the CRSR right 
key until the correct rate is found. Press RETURN to make the 


2. Duplex — A computer in full duplex mode will "echo" back to 
the sender's screen all signals it receives. This checks infor- 
mation against loss or alteration. It is similar to speaking to 
someone who repeats every word you say. 

The half duplex mode of operation does not "echo". It is similar 
to normal conversation between two people. 

Below is a table of duplex combinations between two compu- 
ters and the results you can expect on your screen. 

Table 1 . Dublex Settings 

Host Your Your Screen 

Computer Computer 

Full Full Normal 


Full Half Double characters on screen 

1 st character is yours 
2nd character is the host 

Half Full Only see the Mainframe 


Half Half Normal 

Sometimes it is desirable to have a particular combination of 
settings (ex: 2 colo r VIP, n ption jequires that h oth mmpntarft- 
operate aLhalf du plex). To make changes refer to the host 
'computer's reference manual. 


3. Word Length — This controls how many bits are in each 
character. Most computers use 7 or 8 bits. 

Set the word length by pushing W, then use the CRSR right key 
to make your selection. Press RETURN when finished. 

4. Stop Bits — Some computers require that blank bits be sent 
after each character, to signal the end of a character. Normally, 
a 300 baud computer gets 8 bits of data for each character, this 
makes a total of ten bits including the start and stop bit.Hence, 
300 baud becomes 30 characters per second. 

To set the number of stop bits, you press the S key, use the 
CRSR right key to select the number of stop bits. Hit RETURN 
when the proper selection is made. 

5. Parity — Some computers check for transmission errors by 
setting the highest bit in each character in a certain way. In 
even parity, the total number of "on" bits in each character 
should always be an even number; in odd parity, the number of 
"on" bits is odd. Space_parity.always loaves thp highest hit off 
and mark parity leaves the bit "on". 

I ncorrect parity will cause many of the characters to be printed 

Set the parity on the first menu page by pressing the P key, 
then use the CRSR right key to select the proper parity. Press 
RETURN when through. 


1 . Linefeed — You press return at the end of a line, in order to start 
a new line. Some computers expect to receive a "carriage 
return", to start a new line. Other computers expect both a 
"carriage return" and a "linefeed" signal. You can select both 
signals by pressing L. To choose the "carriage return only 
signal" type C. 


2. VIC-to-VIC/VIC-to- ASCII — Most computers create characters 
according to a standard set of codes called ASCII. Com- 
modore's computers use a slightly different set of codes. 
VICTERM I translates this different "language" from other 
computers as well as giving you the full range of graphics and 
sound when communicating VIC to VIC. When on the second 
menu press V to transmit or rec eive, from a Commod ore 
computer. Any other computer requires VIC to ASCII, select A. 

3. 2 Color Option — To improve readability, we have made it 
possible to display characters you send in one color and the 
characters you receive in another color. Select the 2 color 
option by hitting the 2 key, while the second menu is displayed. 
To cancel this feature press the 2 key again. 

4. Format End of Line — Words that run past the end of the line on 
the screen normally appear fragmented, partially on one line 
and partially on the next. By selecting format end of line, any 
words that would have been broken up are moved entirely to 
the next line, this makes text more readable. 

Select the format end of line by hitting f, and to cancel the 
choice press F again. 


1. VICTERM I tape should only be used on VIC's without extra 
memory. This means there can be no expander cartridges or 
game cartridges plugged into the back of the VIC. When the 
screen comes up it should read 3583 bytes free. 

2. Install the modem as given in the modem instruction manual. 

3. Turn on the VIC, and rewind the VICTERM I tape. 

4. Type "Load" command on the VIC, press play on the cassette 
when prompted on the TV screen. 


5. When the VIC has found the program, "loading" will appear on 
your TV screen, which lasts for a minute or two. 

6. As soon as loading is complete the computer will say "READY." 
Type "RUN" and press return. The screen will briefly flash the 
copyright notice and next, TERMINAL READY will appear at 
the top of the screen. 

7. Type f4, to make the necessary selections from the menu 
pages. Press N to change from menu one to menu two. Type T 
to enter terminal mode. 

8. Now pick up your telephone. Dial the telephone number of the 
computer you're calling. The computer will answer the phone 
with a high pitched tone. Connect the phone jack to the back of 
the modem. The red light on the modem will light up when the 
connection is complete. 

9. Use the sign on procedure as descri6edin your computer 
network reference guide. 


VICTERM I lets you control the character, screen and border 
colors. To change the screen color, for example, hold down the 
CTRL key and hit the f3 key; you'll see the color change on the 
screen. Co ntinue pressing the f3 key until screen i s the color you 
want . Below~ts~a table of the color contronunctlons.^ 

Table 2. Color Controls 
Depress CTRL key with: Effect on Output: 

f3 screen background 

English Pounds border 

f5 character color 

f1 {2 color mode only) 

sending computer's character 




We have set each of the function keys to send a different control 

Type Result 


control C 


control P 


control Q 


control S 

Contr ol C and control S are tradi tionally used to indicate a stop 
c ommand ; control Q means to resume sendin g and control P is a 
break key. ( This tells the computer that you warn to exit th e 
program you are currently running.) 

Check the manual from the information provided to be sure that 
these keys are to be used. 



"Talking" with your computer to other computers is as simple as 
typing on the keyboard. As you hit each key, the character is 
immediately transmitted through the modem to the other com- 
puter. When commu nicating with another VIC (or any othe r 
Commodore COffl DUtgO all the cursor control keys are activ e, 
including t heCLR/HgME. This means you could clear so~meong s. 
screen frorrTmiles away! 

NOTE: Remember, comniujiicjuring--wlth- ano t h o r com poter-re- 
quires the modems to b o se t in oppo oi t o mod e s, one in "a n sw er 
the other in orignate. Normally, working with services like Compu- 
Serve your modem should be set to "O" (originate). 


Listed below, in table 3, is a listing of the ASCII codes, their 
functions and how to access these control commands on the VIC. 
Included in this listing are the special codes that tell the host 
computer to transmit, receive and stop. 

Table 2. Generating ASCII Codes 

Hold CTRL 
and Press 


End Transmission 




Horiz. Tab 




Form Feed 


Carriage Return 










File Seperator 


Group Septerator 


Record Seperator 


Unit Seperator 



CRSR down 



Left Arrow 

Up Arrow 





Commodore Information Network 2 

CompuServe 2 

Connect Phone To Modem 5 

Control Menu 15 

Format Menu 13 

Function Keys 18 

Glossary 9 

Installing The Modem 3 

Load Victerm I 16 

Specifications 10 

Terminal Program 7, 8 

Victerm I Features 12 

fz commodore